Dr. Taz MD, Solutions for Living Healthy Naturally: A New Year…A Better You!

Have you decided on or your New Year’s resolution yet? It is a difficult decision. Some people choose to focus on something big like completing a marathon, while others opt for smaller improvements in their daily lives by doing one small thing every day like journaling. Whatever your resolution, sticking to it will not be easy. The good news is that by explicitly stating your New Year’s resolution, you are 10x more likely to succeed than those who do not [1]. So take a few minutes to consider your New Year’s resolution, write it on a piece of paper, and then post it somewhere you will see it every day.

Make sure you make your resolution SMART, as in Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. A resolution looks like: “I will lose 10 pounds by June first.” This is better than just “I will lose weight” because it allows for planning, tracking and evaluating.

The next step is to take your resolution and break it down into smaller pieces and goals. For example, the previous goal would be broken down into losing two pounds every month, exercising three times a week, and eating healthy. Write these goals down too and follow them like a road map to success [2].

The best thing you can do for you resolution is to be kind to yourself. Inevitably, you will stumble on the way to achieving your goals; forgive yourself when it happens and learn from your mistakes. If you have ever heard the myth that it takes 21 days to form a habit, you were lied to. The real number is different for everyone but the average is 66 days [3] (that is March 6th for your resolution.) Over the next 66 days you will often think you will never succeed, especially after small failures. Staying positive and forgiving yourself will always get you father than beating up on yourself.

Have a Happy, Positive New Year!

1.University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology. http://statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/. 12/13/2013

2.Gore, Amanda. “10 Strategies for Achieving Your New Year’s Resolutions.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 30 Dec. 2013. Web. 31 Dec. 2013.

3.Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C. H. M., Potts, H. W. W., & Wardle, J. (2010). How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 998- 1009. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.674/abstract)